ForAge Forum: Intergenerational learning

  • Intergenerational learning

    31.7.2014 16:02
    The GATE Grundtvig Learning Partnership [Progn. 2012-1-GB2-GRU06-08455-2] examined current practice in respect of learning opportunities for older people that promoted and enhanced active ageing. Inevitably this examination involved intergenerational and mutual learning. As a consequence the partnership produced the GATE Guide to Active Ageing available at - http://gate.wikispaces.com. However there are two questions which the partnership wishes to raise about this form of learning which is now very popular across Europe but still needs some reflection. 1). There have been many intergenerational learning opportunities, projects and networks in recent years but fewer focussing on mutual aspects of ageing or shared learning around ageing. Do you feel that that the claims that such experiences do bring benefits to our society have been justified? 2). This is a time of rapid change, economic uncertainty, a large reliance on technology, the emergence of social media as our main communication channels, and an apparent lessening of trust in politicians and decision makers at local, regional, national and pan European levels. Can you suggest ways (and provide examples) of how active ageing initiatives and strategies are (or can be) effective in allowing all members of our communities cope with these changes and remain economically and socially active?
  • 31.7.2014 18:55
    Dear Jim and all. Yes intergenerational learning has become very popular but not education about generations. If we get involved in inter-gerational learning and practices we should also gain knowledge about the generational issues in order to better understand the generational diversity, the gap between generations and all sorts of divides but also what generations have in common. I think that aging is not a common topic to be approached in inter-generational practices, rather common living and quality living. Even older people are not that interested in studying aging. I know it from experience having developed a course in critical geragogy. Now. I am not in a position to tell if inter-generational learning practices are a good solution. All I know is that they are a mixture of community education, learning about project planning, group dynamics, team building activities, community social work etc bringing together generations and that knowledge is needed to this end. Inter-generational practices are by no means just simple and single events. They should go on in stable conditions, regularly, ove a longer time since inter-generational learning is meant to create inter-generational bonds and ties. I also know that active ageing can be active only on condition older people belong to open social networks with younger people present. At Slovenian U3A we bring generations together. Older educated students with a wide social network, skills, knowledge, younger people, university graduates with knowledge ( they know) but not knowledge how to do it and liitle knowledge about relationships. We offer our older students andragogic knowledge and there are already some results: An agency of cultural tourism, an emerging shop of memories, etc. Employment for younger people.

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